Birmingham opens new pickleball courts

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 27, 2023

 The pickleball community now has access to courts at Crestview Park in Birmingham. All are welcome, but residents can make reservations.

The pickleball community now has access to courts at Crestview Park in Birmingham. All are welcome, but residents can make reservations.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


BIRMINGHAM — Crestview Park in Birmingham is now home to pickleball courts for the community to enjoy. These facilities have been a topic for discussion and highly requested by the community since around 2018, officials said.

“We have award-winning parks in the city, and it’s nice to be able to add pickleball to a wide array of activities that people can get out and enjoy,” Communications Director Marianne Gamboa said.

According to the USA Pickleball website, the rules of the game were created near Seattle by three men in 1965.

It all started on a slow Saturday, when two of the men decided to volley a perforated plastic ball over a badminton net with ping-pong paddles.

Once they began creating the rules, their goal was to create a game that the whole family could enjoy. By 1990, people in every state were playing pickleball.

Now, pickleball is played in singles and doubles, with paddles and balls made just for the game. The pickleball craze has grown in popularity throughout the globe, including in Birmingham.


Crestview Park courts
Birmingham Parks and Recreation Manager Carrie Laird said the city has been receiving requests for pickleball since around 2018, when they were building the 2018 Parks and Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

During this process, the community was asked to participate by including input on what they would like to see in Birmingham. Pickleball was an often requested feature.

Laird said the courts have been highly anticipated, with some community members checking in on its progress regularly.

At Crestview Park the city modified tennis courts to accommodate six pickleball courts. The total cost of the project was $63,750. The funds are from a 2020 parks and recreation bond.

While the community was waiting on this project to be completed, the city made temporary courts at Crestview Park by painting pickleball lines on top of two tennis courts and lowering the net.

Laird said the new official pickleball courts have been full of enthusiastic pickleball players since they were opened.

They have designated 9 a.m.-noon as “open play” hours. During this time, people are encouraged to mingle and play against each other.

“Pickleball is also a very social sport,” Gamboa said. “It is nice to see people smiling and laughing with neighbors who can come together and play pickleball very close to their homes.”

The courts are open to everyone on a first come, first served basis, but since they are popular, residents are able to make reservations to ensure they will have a court to play on.  Reservations can be made in two-hour increments between noon and 8 p.m. at